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4 Common Mistakes in Early Recovery

You finally finish a residential treatment program at an Orange County rehab center and you feel like a new person. You’ve tackled one of the biggest steps in achieving a life of sobriety – overcoming active addiction. Now that you’ve got numerous tools under your belt and a variety of strategies to try, you’re moving back home and facing life outside of rehab.

Early recovery is an important time because it sets the stage for the future. It’s a time when you should be focused on implementing what you have learned and following through with changes. However, there are several common mistakes that clients make in early recovery that can increase their risk of relapse. Remember – there is no ‘cure’ for addiction. Recovery is a choice that you make every day, and the risk of relapse is always there, no matter how small.

  1. Diving Back into Life Full Force

Now that you’ve tackled addiction treatment, you may feel like you can take on the world. One mistake that many people make is taking on too much, too fast. Life outside of rehab has many more distractions, temptations, and triggers. You may think you’re ready to reassume all of your responsibilities at work or take on more tasks at home, but proceed with caution. It’s better to start off slowly and let yourself work up to more responsibility. Give yourself a chance to establish routines and get more comfortable with your new lifestyle.

Recovery can be hard work. It can be exhausting trying to remember everything you’ve learned and steer yourself clear of potentially negative situations. It can be tiring pushing through cravings and figuring out what you need to do to avoid possible triggers. Allow yourself to rest and make sure you’re eating a well-balanced diet. Practice self-care to keep yourself feeling mentally and physically strong.

It’s okay to say no when asked to do something, or to delegate tasks. It’s okay to ask for help. You don’t have to try to jump back in right where you left off. That is part of what landed you in rehab to begin with. Make necessary changes and figure out what works for you now that you’re in recovery.

  1. Trying to Do it All Yourself

You don’t have to be a superhero and take on the world on your own. In fact, many superheroes have a team that helps them out. Trying to go it alone can put you at greater risk for relapse. Instead, learn when to turn to your support system and ask for help. You don’t want them doing everything for you – especially things that you can and should be doing for yourself – but it’s okay to admit that you need help sometimes.

Maybe you need someone to watch your kids so you can go to a meeting after you’ve had a rough day. Maybe you’re hesitant about trying a new activity or going to an event and want someone to come along for moral support or to hold you accountable. Or maybe you just need someone to listen or make you laugh. We all have people we turn to in our lives in time of need and times of celebration. Family and friends want to see you succeed, so let them help. Trust that they have your back.

  1. Having High Expectations

Just because you’ve implemented a lot of changes in your life, doesn’t necessarily mean that other people have as well. Don’t expect to go home and have everything be perfect. There are still challenges that you will have to overcome and issues to work through. You’ll have to keep working on yourself too, through meetings, counseling, and other activities. Recovery takes time and requires change.

Not everyone is as willing to forgive and forget either. It can take time to rebuild trust and prove to others that you have changed. Some relationships can be repaired while others you may just have to accept are broken and move on. Life didn’t stop while you were in rehab, so give yourself a chance to catch up and figure things out.

  1. Drifting Back to the Familiar

You’re feeling strong and empowered. You may think that just spending a little bit of time with old friends or in old hangouts is okay because you’re a different person now. But those people and places probably haven’t changed. Living your life the same way you did before rehabilitation can get you into trouble.

Focus on making friends who are a positive influence in your life. People who you enjoy the same sober activities with and have common interests with. Surround yourself with people who are supportive of your recovery and new lifestyle. It can be very difficult to break off old relationships or friendships, but consider the impact these people have on your life and whether or not they’re helping you to achieve your goals.

Chapters Capistrano can help you to identify and work through underlying issues that contributed to your addiction and work with you on a relapse prevention plan that aligns with your needs and goals. Whether you’re struggling with alcoholism, drug addiction, or a dual diagnosis, contact Chapters Capistrano at 888-973-0230 to learn more about how we can help you with recovery.